I’m thrilled to say that 2017 has been off to a great start, on both a professional and personal level, and I hope that you can all say the same! There is something so invigorating about the concept of a fresh start and while trendy diets and promises to limit our screen time are often a distant memory come February or March, not all New Year’s resolutions have to be about restricting ourselves. Instead, I challenge you to commit to carving out time and money to put towards something that will add value and meaning to your life, not to mention a lot of fun, laughter and crazy stories to tell your friends and family.
I challenge you to make travel a priority in 2017, to not push off that trip to Buenos Aires you’ve always wanted to do with your mom or the Colombian backpacking trip you and the buddies always dreamed about over brewskies in college. I challenge you to commit to doing the Camino de Santiago, or the Inca Trail, if they're on your bucket list (as they should be). Yes, I challenge you to float lazily down the Río Dulce in Guatemala if that’s what your body and soul are telling you they need.
I was recently reminded of just how short life really is in the grand scheme of things but also of how long the days can feel when we get stuck in the monotonous routine to which so many of us have become accustomed. At the end of the day, while I firmly believe we should do our best to savor and cherish each moment of life, even the mundane ones, you are more likely to look back fondly on the time you spent discovering new parts of the world, and yourself, than the hours spent binge watching Netflix original series.
Now, I know it isn’t as easy as it sounds to just drop everything, book a flight and head off on an adventure but with some planning, saving, and a bit of luck it is definitely possible and well worth it. Traveling, not just vacationing, but truly traveling and getting to know new places and people is an incredibly enriching experience that will likely leave a lasting impact on you, long after the mojitos have worn off and your sunburn has healed. I’ve been catching up with a lot of my fellow traveler friends lately and it has been such a beautiful reminder of the profound influence travel can have on us as individuals, and as communities, and how it can positively increase our overall long term health and happiness at the personal and societal level.
"I urge you to stop seeing travel as an expense and to start looking at it as an investment"
Take some time to set a travel goal, devise a plan to reach it and then stick to it! If you do, I can almost guarantee that in addition to souvenirs for the family you’ll be bringing home a lot of the following in your suitcase: perspective, gratitude, compassion, motivation, new friends, increased self-awareness, answers you were looking for and questions you didn’t yet know you had.
- Chelsea 💕